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First Oil Change



  • krzyss-

    I've always been taught to overchange the oil in new cars too. I just bought an 07 Camry and am debating whether or not to do it with this car. The dealer recommended just getting it changed between the regular 3-5K.

    Would you recommend continuing this practice, even with the new cars nowadays? I used to do it with new cars I bought since I started to drive, but this is my first new car in a while, and wasn't sure if they were making cars differently now than they have in the past, where it wasn't necessary. I'm tempted to change it at 1,000 miles to make sure any "break-in" debris, metal shavings, etc are removed.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I just keep on doing it, as you suggest. It might be good to not use a true synthetic oil on the first change, though. I say that, thinking that you would not want to "interfere" with ring seating and bearing polishing, etc.
  • carlo81carlo81 Posts: 1
    i think i have done the same thing but check my story out i dont know what i should do any help would be perfect
    KK i just got the car its an 81 monte carlo landau. theres no oil dipstick because there was an engine swap 4 a 350 and he never put it back on. most gauges dont work properly. so my dad put oil in it i figured it was 2 much cause the car started 2 smoke. then i drained it and put it right amount. now the car smokes heavily from the front only when i accelerate though. seems oil is hitting mainfold. where could the leak be coming from? :sick:
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Valve cover gasket probably, or just oil that was spilled previously.

    We'll close your other topic that you started on this same subject (too small a question for an entirely new discussion).

    If you need to talk more about this, try this ongoing discussion:

    Oil Change Fiascos

    It's a good place for folks who are having trouble with oil changes to work on their problems!

    See you there

    host Forums

    MODERATOR --Need help with anything? Click on my name!

  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    Thought I would open this discussion up.......

    The greal oil change debate will continue for many years. I generally go by what the owners manual says and I personally think changing oil at 500 or 1000 miles on a new car is a complete waste.

    There was a GREAT study that was done about 10 years ago....I will see if I can find it. The study took a few dozen NYC cabs. The motors were torn apart before the study and the motors were speced and analyzed. They were then torn apart at the end of the study which I think was 100k miles later. Different oil change intervals were used and different oils. These cabs see pretty harsh conditions. In fact, all these cabs were driven in conditions that the manufacturer would consider "harsh" or "severe".

    The verdict if I recall was that the #1 problem was using oil of the wrong grade! In most cases, the study determined that frequent oil changes were pointless and synthetic oil was better, but not worth the added cost.

    The study recomended using dyno-oil (organic) and changing every 6,000 miles. Changing more frequenty added undue cost and extending the interval added wear. Though, the wear was shockingly minor.

    Furthermore, the study considered the risk of an oil change as well. Each time you change the oil, you run the risk of someone screwing up. Perhaps too much oil, perhaps the wrong grade, or perhaps leaving the plug out. These risks/problems are frequent enough to increase the risk to the owner by changing oil too often.

    Additionally, oil changes are time consuming too.

    There are a number of large fleets that took this study and employed it for use. My employer, for example, owns about 10,000 vehicles and they went from insisting on oil changes every 3,000 miles to 5,000 and then 6,000 miles. Fleet managers are truly experts at understanding this stuff and managing risk. We typically put 80,000 to 120,000 miles on our cars and need them to last.....sure, perhaps not 300,000 miles.

    I own three vehicles. My Saab gets oil every 15k....that is what the book says. My Mustang (Supercharged - 450 hp car), gets new oil twice a year regardless of miles, but I only put 4 - 5k per year. Car is not under warranty, but I also measure the amount of oil I put in and get out to see how much...if any I am burning. My Suburban, which I recently traded, got oil whenever the engine oil life sensor came on (about 4500 miles). I run Mobil I in everything, buy it from Walmart, and generally do the changes myself except on the Saab.

    My new Chrylser has free oil changes every 3k miles, so might as well get them.

    So, I guess I don't eactly follow the study - lol
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    I occasionally see a comment about "those metal shavings" in the engines of new cars, to which I think to myself "GEEZ, I hope not!".

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  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    I change oil and filter on a 3K basis, and don't worry about even several hundred miles of variance for convenience. I am convinced that my vehicles are safe as a result. I seek and continue to find bargains on mineral oil, thus negating the expense involved. Filters of full adequacy can also be found at modest cost. I do my own changes, and use the episodes as opportunities to inspect my vehicles in areas not regularly viewed. All is good that protects the owner's property, I would say. :shades:
  • waterdrwaterdr Posts: 307
    You actually bring up a very good point. Changing oil is certainly a nice opportunity to look at other things and see what's up on a car. Always better to find a problem before it becomes a big problem.
  • My 2007 Saturn Aura XR has close to 7,200 miles. I bought it new in Nov 2007. I have yet to change the oil because it has an oil life monitor. It is currently at 29%. :)

    While at the dealer for another issue, I remarked that I still had not had my first oil change. Both service guys at the counter said I should get my oil changed every 3-5K miles. :confuse:

    I was floored! One reason I bought the car was because I liked this feature. Is the dealer trying to rip me off by going against the manufacturer's recommendations and getting unnecessary oil changes? :mad:
  • okko1okko1 Posts: 327
    gm will generally comp. you first oil change anyway and i think it is a good idea to have this done short of your oil life gage. i like to have that first filter to gut and take a look at. not every oil change is as critical as the first to me. :)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    The dealership is trying to get you in more often. I would have done the first oil change around 5000 miles and then follow the oil life monitor after that. I would change it when the monitor is at 15%-20%. My personal opinion.
  • I hear what you are saying. Many I this forum would agree with you. Better safe than sorry.

    There are others on this forum that say to go by the Owner's Manual. The Manual was written by the manufacturer of the engine and should give the best advice that would make their product operate correctly and at full efficiency.

    In my case, I bought a feature that is supposed to monitor my oil life and tell me when to change it; and the dealer and others say, "No, don't go by that. Change it every X,XXX miles."

    So my gripe is the inconsistent message being given by the dealer and GM.

    I am thinking of calling the Service Manager at Saturn and asking him/her.
  • So my gripe is the inconsistent message being given by the dealer and GM.
    I am thinking of calling the Service Manager at Saturn and asking him/her.

    I understand your frustration regarding the conflicting opinions. However, if you are coming to this message board seeking the "one true answer", you are going to be greatly disappointed.

    The oil change interval debate as been the subject of countless articles and arguments since the introduction of the Model T, and it will continue to be that way. Great minds have weighed the merits of various oil change strategies, and to my knowledge, nobody has yet to discover the "grand unified theory" of oil changes. Maybe if Einstein were a mechanic, we would have a definitive answer on the subject. Unfortunately, he decided to focus his attention on some arcane physics stuff, and so the debate continues.

    Rather than getting your blood pressure up agonizing over the "right" oil change interval, just change it every 3000 miles like I do. Is that overkill? Probably. However, then you won't have to worry about whether or not you are running your oil too long. With that kind of peace of mind, you'll sleep better at night, flowers will smell sweeter, and you'll have more time to fret over the important things in life (like what your tire pressure should be :) )
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Follow the manual and the oil life monitor. It is written and supported by GM. Do an online search on "oil life monitor". Read for yourself how this feature actually works.

    When doing regular maintenance (transmission fluid change, coolant changes, etc), follow the manual. it spells out very clearly what needs to be done and at what interval. When you go to the dealership, write it down what you want done. Don't just say "do the 30k mile service". Most of it is not required and pads the dealerships wallet. As long as you follow the owner's manual and keep your receipts, you will be fine.

    Gm designed their cars to be low maintenance. No need to go to dealer more then you have to. BTW, I have 156k on my 2000 Intrigue without a major repair. It also has an oil life monitor on it. My oil changes are between 6k-7k miles. If the "Change oil" light has not come on by 7k miles, I change the oil and reset the monitor.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    It also has to be remembered that the car manufactures work hard to keep their Total Cost of Ownership costs down.

    Stretching oil changes helps those numbers.
  • It also has to be remembered that the car manufactures work hard to keep their Total Cost of Ownership costs down.

    Stretching oil changes helps those numbers.

    The cost of an oil change is pretty small compared to other "TCO" factors, so I doubt that longer oil change intervals really have a big impact on the total cost of ownership.

    Let's say that you drive your car 12,000 miles a year. If you do oil changes every 3000 miles, then you are spending $20 x 4 = $80 a year on oil changes. If you do your oil changes every 6000 miles, then you are spending $20 x 2 = $40 a year on oil changes. That is a difference of $40 per year.

    Over a five year period (which is the length of time used for most TCO calculations), that extra $40 a year translates into an additional $200 in the TCO calculation. This is negigible when compared to the cost of gas, insurance, depreciation, over that five year period.

    I think the reason why car manufacturers make a big deal about longer OCI's is that this gives consumers a PERCEPTION that they are saving a lot of money (which they aren't), and the PERCEPTION that the car must be more reliable if the OCI's are longer (which it isn't).
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Actually, there have been many studies that indicate that oil so advance that it does not break down even after 7500 miiles. Fluid technology has advance over the past decade. 7500 oil changes, 100k mile transmission fluid, 100k coolant changes, etc. Heck, Exxon makes a synthetic that can last 15k miles. Nothing to do with perception, this is reality.

    Of course, you could be right. I'm sure car manufacturers recommend longer intervals so engines sludge up and create other engine problems. They hahe to create some way of getting consumers to buy more cars. You know if my car blows up at 50k miles, i'm going to march back to that same dealer and get me another one of those cars.

    BTW, when you are talking finance, you never know what is a lot of money to someone. $40 a year may not be a lot for you or me but for some folks that is an electric bill, water bill or a week of groceries.

    Also by following the manufacturer OCI, you use less oil....foreign oil that is. Not a bad thing with $3.20 gas.
  • Follow up to my original post:

    I filled out an online survey on the Saturn Dealer's website regarding my frustration. Within 15 mins the Service manager I had spoken to the day before was calling to say that his boss (the GM) saw my survey and wanted him to call me to straighten it out.

    Long story short: he apologized and acknowledged (finally) that going by the OLM was fine and it would not void the warranty. He also said he would educate his service techs about this issue.
  • BTW, when you are talking finance, you never know what is a lot of money to someone. $40 a year may not be a lot for you or me but for some folks that is an electric bill, water bill or a week of groceries.

    I am not sure what that has to do with what is being discussed. isellhondas stated that extending OCI's help the total cost of ownership number. I responded saying that it helps but not by much.

    I just looked up the five year TCO for a 2007 Civic. It is $35,000. If you are doing 2 fewer oil changes a year, you are saving $200 over a five year period. In other words, by doing less oil changes, Honda is improving its TCO number by less than one percent. Yes, it helps, but it doesn't help much, relatively speaking.

    Also by following the manufacturer OCI, you use less oil....foreign oil that is. Not a bad thing with $3.20 gas.

    Isn't clean oil supposed to give you better gas mileage? :)
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918

    My point: not unless you intimately know someone's financial situation, you have non clue how spending additional money will affect a person situation. I rather err on the side of caution and offer savings rather then additional costs. $40 to you may be fine (and me). It could be detrimental to someone else. That's all.


    As long as the oil retains its lubricating properties and viscocity, I don't think it matters if the oil is fresh or has 6000 miles in the engine. I would think if you are getting worst gas mileage, something else is wrong.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Very good to hear. i'm glad you voiced your frustration.
  • 7milehi7milehi Posts: 28
    You 3K oil change intervals types will go nuts over this. I bought a 1998 used Volvo S70 in 2000 with 58K miles on it. I change the oil every 10K miles with Mobil 1 10W30 and a Mobil 1 filter. My S70 gets a major service every 30K miles.

    I now have 226K , thats 226,000 miles on it now and oil consumption is one quart every 5-6K miles.

    I had a 3K change guy tell me several years ago I was ruining my engine by 10K oil changes. Personally I think people that change the oil every 3K miles under normal conditions don't know much about modern day motor oil or have an oil changing fetish.
  • burdawgburdawg Posts: 1,524
    But your using synthetic oil. 10K between changes is not unusual for Mobil 1. If you used petroleum based oil it would be a different story.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,604
    Without oil analysis, the right and wrong of a 10K change is strictly opinion on either side. Your 10K interval engine didn't blow up, but neither did his 3K interval engine.

    also, as dawg says, someone would be nuts to change out synthetic oil at 3K. Nobody I know does that. You'd also be reckless to go 10K on regular oil.

    I change out synthetic at 7,500 because I don't do oil analysis.

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  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,218
    "...Have an oil change fetish..."

    That's me. If I don't change my dino oil by 3K I start to imagine all the horrible grinding and metal to metal scraping going on in my engine. I can't sleep until I get that FILTHY oil away from my motor! :cry:

    Actually, I have found those oil changes to be a relatively cheap safeguard. I'm sure a modern engine can take more abuse but why should it have to.

    I did the first oil change on my new car at 1500 miles because I wanted to switch over to synthetic. I looked at the dip stick the night before and the original oil was still golden brown. This surprised me as any other car I have owned has turned the oil black after a few hundred miles at most.

    So, I guess I didn't need an oil change at 1500 miles but I WANTED one. In the end that's all that matters. :)

    BTW, back in the late 70's my brother bought a new car and didn't change the oil for 12,000 miles. Needless to say, he was pleased when someone stole it and drove it into the river.

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • okko1okko1 Posts: 327
    my old man had a fairlane 500 he bought of the show room floor and tortured the car for 90,000 mile pulling boats and horse trailers with it. he changed the oil at least 3 times in that 90,000 miles. not to say there towards the last it didn't change it's self about every 1000 miles ha-ha. :shades:
  • 7milehi7milehi Posts: 28
    Not sure if I read it on the Edmunds Honda forum or on BITOG, but Honda recommends to keep the factory fill in for at least 4000 miles for proper engine break-in. From what I've read the factory fill is a special break-in oil.

    I'm going to run the factory fill in my new 08 Taurus to 5000 miles then get my free first oil change from the dealership then switch to Pennzoil Platinum at 10,0000 miles. Seems like the PP is getting better oil analysis than Mobil 1 from what I've been seeing over on BITOG.
  • novanova Posts: 135
    I have owned a lot of cars. The only car that I did not change the oil in after 1000 miles were my Honda's. The first Honda I purchased in 2001 I took to the dealer at 1000 miles and they told me Honda is the only manufacture that still puts additives in the oil and to come back at 5000 miles.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 19,603
    Back in the old days...

    We called sludged up engines "Pennzoil engines" We could always tell when people used Pennzoil or Quaker State as soon as we pulled a valve cover off.

    I still won't use Pennzoil although I'm sure it's improved.
  • rod21rod21 Posts: 1
    There is a reason for changing enigne Oil and filter at 1000 or 2000 miles, I have even heard 500 miles as a time to change the enigne that came in the car new.
    The reason is that by changing oil at such low mileage will get rid of any fine metal shavings left when the engine was manufactured.
    There may or may not be minute metal shavings left over from manufacture, but I just spent $33,000. on a new car and I am not going to risk that investment by saving $42.65 for 8 quarts of Mobil 1 and another $5 dollars on a AC Delco oil filter.
    I have a GM car that is why the AC Delco filter.
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